Swimming: Teong Tzen Wei confident of qualifying for Tokyo Olympics

SINGAPORE – Two-time SEA Games gold medallistTeong Tzen Wei set a new personal best (PB) and met the Olympic B qualifying mark in the 100m butterfly after clocking 52.55sec in the Singapore National Olympic Qualifiers (SNOQ) on Friday (Dec 4).

But the 23-year-old has his work cut out if he is to race in the event at next year’s Tokyo Games as it fell short of the Olympic ‘A’ qualifying time of 51.96sec. He will also have to be faster than reigning Olympic champion Joseph Schooling (51.84sec) and Quah Zheng Wen (51.87) with both Olympians making the cut at last year’s SEA Games.

A maximum of two swimmers can be entered per event provided both meet the Olympic A time.

But Teong, who is aiming to qualify for Tokyo in either the 100m fly or 50m freestyle, is confident he can lower his time and was pleased with his swim.

“We’ve been consistent in our training ever since we were allowed to train once the circuit breaker ended. I guess this is just showing how training has paid off for some of us and I would like to see that as part of the process for building up towards the bigger meet in March,” said Teong, who added that he wants to improve on the last 25m of his swim.

Organised by the Singapore Swimming Association, the SNOQ will give swimmers the opportunity to race and meet the Olympic qualifying times for the July 23-Aug 8 Tokyo Games. The next Olympic qualifying meet is the Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships in March.

Teong will return to the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Sunday for the 50m freestyle.

The business student at the Singapore Management University also hopes to compete in three events (50m free, 50m and 100m fly) in next year’s SEA Games in Vietnam.

In his debut in 2017, he swam only the 50m free and won the gold. Last year in the Philippines, he competed in the 50m free and 50m fly, where he upset defending champion Schooling by 0.06sec to take the gold.

Despite the task ahead of him, he remained upbeat, saying: “This is a good step for me to take… I have quite good potential (in the 100m fly) if I continue training hard.”

The SNOQ continues till Sunday.

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